Ramana Maharshi (India)


ramana-maharishiRamana Maharshi (1879 – 1950), born Venkataraman Iyer, was an Indian sage. He lived a renunciate life and attracted many devoted followers from both India and the western world. After experiencing at age 16 what was later described as liberation (moksha) or enlightenment, he left home for the sacred mountain Arunachala, Tiruvannamalai. He lived at the mountain for the rest of his life, first in temples and caves and later in Ramanasramam, the ashram which grew around him at the foothill of Arunchala.

Early on, Indian devotees were attracted by the deep stillness he radiated, sat in his presence and took care of his physical well-being. He was recognised as a swami, “the living embodiment of the Holy Scriptures”, and a sadguru. He received his full name Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi in 1907 from Ganapati Sastri. In later life, he came to be regarded as Dakshinamurthy, an aspect of Shiva as a guru. From 1911 on, he also attracted western devotees. He was popularised in the west by Paul Brunton in the 1930s through Brunton’s book A Search in Secret India.

During his life Ramana became acquainted with the classic Indian teachings on Vedanta and Yoga, but also Shaiva Siddhanta and the Bhakti movement, and used them to answer questions from devotees. He insisted that “awareness of the “I” thought was a pre-requisite for Self-realisation”. In response to questions on self-liberation and the classic texts on Yoga and Vedanta, Ramana recommended self-enquiry as the means to awaken to the “I-I” and the Self. He also recommended other methods such as Bhakti to those who could not pursue self-enquiry, and gave his approval to a variety of paths and practices.

Bruno Gröning (Germany)


Bruno Groening was born on May 31st 1906. The fourth of seven children in Danzig-Oliva (East Germany) was born. Even as a young boy, he was able to perform a healing influence on sick people and animals. He later learned the profession of a carpenter and worked in various other professions, from a factory and dock worker to telegram-deliverer. During World War II, he became a German soldier in captivity.

In 1949 he got firstly known publicly because of healing a boy in Herford (Germany) that was written off incurable by the doctors. Worldwide attention was aroused by the mass healing on the Traberhof in Rosenheim / near Munich. Despite his indisputable healing successes Groening received a  healing ban and was no longer allowed to act in public. On January 26th 1959 he died in Paris.

Groening’s teachings

He says himself that he has neither studied nor developed his skills by thinking – they had been spiritually given to him. And in this way he passed it on to his audience. In his talks about beliefs Groening always expressed the influence of spiritual forces on the people, which he considered to be significantly stronger than often assumed. For him especially thoughts were part of these spiritual forces for him among the very thought.

Typical quote are:
– “God is the sender and man the recipient of healing power.”
– “I give you the rules of the game of life so that you become a master in life!”
– “My actions and undertakings should merely serve to bring all people of this world back to the correct path -to the divine path.”
– “Do not thank me, thank God, he did it.”

Groening always avoided to hear anything about a disease or to even only hear its name. He made no promises of healing. His work took place only through his lectures of faith in which he invited the people seeking help to a big reversal in their lives. It was his job to open the door to the divine understanding and experience for people and therefore to trust in God again. He saw himself as a guide, as mediator of divine power.

Bruno Groening compares a human to a battery. During the every day life everybody loses power. But often the needed new life energy is not taken back sufficiently. Just like an empty battery doesn’t work, the same way a powerless body can not fulfill his duties. Tiredness, nervousness, fear of life and ultimately disease are the consequences.

Bruno Groening explained now how individuals can get back to receiving new energy. Belief in the good is as much a prerequisite as the will to health. Humans are surrounded by healing waves everywhere which we only need to take in. According to Bruno Groening, there are no incurable disease, which is confirmed by his success stories approved by medicals. These healings only happen on a spiritual level and are therefore not bound to Bruno Groening’s material body.

To receive this healing power the person seeking help sits with palms up. Arms and legs are not crossed, to not stop the flow of healing power. Thoughts of illness and worry act inhibiting, thoughts of something nice, however, are helpful.

Once the healing stream flows through the body it hits the organs which are affected by disease and begins its purifying effect. This can lead to pain, which is an indication for the cleaning of the body. As the disease is not wanted by God it will be progressively eliminated. This can also happen spontaneously in individual cases. For this purpose it is necessary that the person  is no longer concerned with the disease but believes that there is no “incurable” for God.

To continue to stay healthy the Bruno Groening Circle of Friends meets every day to receive healing power. A healthy body is the foundation for a life in harmony with oneself, others and nature.

The aim of the teachings of Bruno Groening is to turn a sick person into a fun-loving man who is free from physical and emotional stress.

(Source: The Bruno Groening Circle of Friends)

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Sai Baba (India)


belongs to a family of the Kshatriya (“warrior”) caste. He was born on November 23rd 1926 in the southern Indian Putthaparti and the fourth of five children. He was named Sathyanarayana Rayu. In his childhood, Sathyanarayana stood out trough exceptional devotion and helpfulness. During his years at school he organized groups for singing and plays on religious themes, for example, about the life of Krishna, one of the most important figures in Hindu mythology. He also amazed classmates by materializing fruits and gifts out of nowhere. Sai Baba sees himself as an purna avatar, which is the perfect embodiment of the formless absolute, the Divine on earth. An avatar (“descent from heaven”) is describes in Indian philosophy as one for the good of man, Gods incarnate as man, whose task consists in restoring the divine order of the Dharma. He is considered omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Sai Baba was raised in the context of a “Avatarian Design”, a succession of three incarnations. He himself was the reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, who was born in 1835, died 1918 in the western Indian Pathri Shirdi and is equally revered by Hindus and Muslims as a saint. After the initial rejection of his claims, the number of followers soon grew rapidly, and the formerly small gathering has grown in recent years to a huge and complex consisting of schools, a university, a museum, a hospital and residential facilities for the visitors. Every year tens of thousands of devotees come to Prashanthi Nilayam, where the defining event for the follower of Sathya Sai Baba is the daily darshan. Sai Baba feels connected to all world religions and emphasizes the importance of understanding, love and tolerance.

Glossary of

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (India)


Maharishi Mahesh YogiBorn in 1915, he became famous over night as the spiritual teacher of the Beatles. Without money and a return ticket, he came in to the United States in 1959. He brought with him the legacy, the Transcendental Meditation, of his teacher, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, whose pupil he was for 13 years after completing his studies in physics and mathematics in Allahabad. This technique has been handed down orally by the tradition of Vedic masters of India. Maharishi multiplied himself in form of meditation teachers which he trained to achieve his goal, the spiritual renewal of the world in this generation. In 1971 the first Maharishi University was founded in the United States. 1975, the second in Switzerland. Since 1976, Maharishi also teaches the TM-Siddhi program. Because politicians didn’t introduce his awareness-technologies for the reduction of stress, Maharishi inspired  the founding of the “Natural Law parties” in 60 countries since 1992. Maharishi is committed to the revival of the ancient Vedas, for example the Ayur-Veda, the oldest prevention-oriented health care system in the world and the Sthapatya-Veda, the knowledge how good living atmosphere, that protects the energy of life so that health and enlightenment are easily possible. Maharishi, now 80 years old, lives in Holland since 1992 and still leads a laborious life. His message: “The nature of life is happiness. Everyone is born to enjoy.”

Krishnamurti (India)


Krishnamurti, Jiddhu was born on May 12th 1895 as the eighth son of a Brahmin family in Madanapalle, a small town in the southern Indian province of Andhra Pradesh. His name is derived from Lord Krishna, a divine incarnation of the Hindu beliefs. Krisha himself was the eights child to his parents. Krishnamurti made his way to Adyar, the headquarters of the theosophical society at a very young age. His personal charisma and his subdued nature impressed his teachers so much that in 1911 they founded the “Order of the Star of the East” and made the sixteen year old the main leader of this Order.

He spent his years learning, traveling and teaching up to the days of silence, as an inner transformation broke the bond and he consequently broke up the order on 3 August 1929 which was a disaster for the theosophists. Krishnamurti preached to the the world, that truth was a pathless land without boundaries, that one could not approach by any established religion. His only interest was to “completely and absolutely free the people.”

Glossary of

Francis of Assisi


Francis of Assisi was born in 1181 or 1182 as the son of wealthy merchants. With his baptism he was given the name of Giovanni (John). But since his father Pietro Bernadone, a cloth merchant, entertained close trade links with France and otherwise loved the French culture and way of life, he called his son “Francesco”.

Initially he should follow in the footsteps of his father and take over the family business. So  Francis of Assisi visited the cathedral school, learned French and Latin and was a perfectly normal young man who enjoyed the life of a privileged son of a wealthy family. He hung out with like-minded people in the streets of Assisi and dreamed of becoming a knight.

This plan failed miserably. Together with the other young men of his hometown, he was drawn into the war against the neighboring town of Perugia. Instead of the hoped-for glory and honor, he fell ill and was taken prisoner. After returning to his hometown of Assisi, Francis did not know what to do with his life. He was going through a life crisis. He neglected his duties in the family business more and more. Several times he gave away expensive materials to the poor and needy. This is called out the anger of his father. In 1206 it finally came to the final break: Under the eyes of the bishop and the people of Assisi, he took off his clothes and returned them to his father.

Now a new life began for him: He dressed with a simple hair shirt of brown wool and withdrew to lonely and isolated caves ruined chapels. One day he heard the voice of Jesus as he was praying before a cross: “Francis, go and repair my house” Francis then began to renovate run down chapels, because he first interpreted the calling literally.

In 1209 he listened to the Gospel of the mission of the disciples in the little chapel of Portiuncula. This inspired him to go among the people and preach. Soon, the first companions gathered around him. The “lesser brothers” as they called themselves traveled as preachers and worked for the people. They were poor and happy. They proclaimed the peace of God and the good news – rather through their lives than only by their words.

In 1212 Clara, a daughter of a noble house joins and becomes the first female in the group around Francis. Together with other women, she lives  reclusive life in poverty and prayer in a small monastery outside Assisi called San Damiano. From this community later develops the Order of Poor Clares.
Within a few years, the fraternity grew from a small group of 12 friends to a widespread community. Around Pentecost 1217, the brothers met in Assisi and decided to set up small offices in France, Spain and Germany. In the midst of the Crusades in 1219, Francis himself went to the Saracens (Muslims) to promote (in vain)  a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the competing religions.
On November 29th 1223, Pope Honorius III finally approved of the rules of life lesser brothers that St. Francis wrote up with some friends in solitude.

Despite of many internal and external sufferings from illness and fatigue Francis remained the brother “Always happy”. Tormented by pain and imminent death in mind, he wrote the Canticle of the Sun, an invitation to the creation to the praise God.

The life of the “Poverello”, the poor of Assisi was an imitation of the crucified Christ, which he tried to follow. Like no one else he became the “second Christ”. In fact, he was so much like his suffering Lord that he is the first human in history to receive the wounds of Jesus Christ.

1226, on the evening of 3rd of October Francis dies  at the birthplace of his fraternity. He wanted to die naked as God had created him. So his brothers gathered and but him on the ground next to the Chapel of Portiuncula. He comforted his brothers, prayed to God and ate for the last time his beloved almond cookies that a patroness had given him, before he died.

Barely two years after his death, Francis was canonized. Soon his body was brought to the magnificent double Basilica “San Francesco”, which had been erected in his honor on the western outskirts of Assisi. To this day, Francis of Assisi enjoys and undivided popularity  beyond the boundaries of denominations and even across the barriers of religion. He is the patron saint of Italy. From Pope John Paul II he was appointed patron of the environment. Since the success of the great prayer for peace with representatives of all world religions in 1986 in Assisi, he is also regarded as the “saint of the peace”. In 1998 an U.S. magazine reader survey conducted by the Times Francis of Assisi won first place at the question: “Who is the greatest man of the millennium?” (St Francis Catholic School)

Plotinus (Egypt/Greece)


The Greek philosopher Plotinus was born in 205 in Lycopolis in Egypt. He went to school in Alexandria, where he learned all the important religious and philosophical trends – without finding what he sought.

Only by acquaintance with the living on the street mystic Ammonius Sakkas, he found the inner light. After his death in 242 he accompanied the Roman Emperor Geordianus III on his expedition against the Persians and Indians. After the assassination of the Emperor to Plotinus went to Antioch and Rome, where he worked until his death. Although Plotinus was not a Christian, his mysticism influenced the first church fathers like Gregory, Eusebius and Hironymus decisively, but especially Augustine.

It is reported that Plotinus was caught by divine enthusiasm when speaking of and was sometimes glorified by a bright light around his head.

“He who wants to enter the path of perfection, abandon everything he has taken during the descent into mortality. If it everything is gone, that is not from God, he will find the solitude of his own ego from which everything originates and everything returns tol: the source of light of life and of being.
This is not a journey that can be done on foot, by boat or by car because the path leads to the inside: close the eyes of your body. Open the eyes of the soul instead and look at the you being deeply lost in yourself. If you still don’t find divine beauty in you, do what an artist does when he wants to create a beautiful statue: Chip away everything that is ugly, peel out the outlines of pure and try to be as beautiful and light as possible. Don’t stop to work on yourself, until a healthy and beautiful image has been created that radiates the divine wealth from the innermost of your being. If you have become this perfect work, nothing can stop you from the unification with the divine. ”

Plotinus repeatedly points to the path of contemplation, the silent vision of God. Its goal, enlightenment, could not be enforced. We can only create the conditions for it. But their coming is a gift from above. And yet:

“The truth is that “the Greatest” is always close to, beaming. When we awaken to it we recognize it and are suddenly pulled up onto the crest of the wave lof the spirit.”

Using materials from K.O. Schmidt: “The light is in you”

Sokrates (Greece)


It can be regarded as certain that Socrates was born in Athens as the son of the sculptor Sophronikos and his midwife Phainarete. He was married to Xanthippe. The widespread view that she was contentious woman through and through cannot be proven from the sources. From this marriage came three sons. Socrates had inherited a small fortune from his parents that allowed him and his family a modest but independent life.
He was a soldier in the battles of Potidaea (431-429), Delium (424) and Amphipolis (422). His bravery and courage are mentioned by Plato and Xenophon.

According to his student Xenophon Socrates found the true voice of God in himself very early and told his disciples about the spirit of Pythagoras’ “right thinking and right action.” He lived simply and is said to always have been in contact with spiritual beings. He radiated optimism and a realistic affirmation of life. By immersion in meditation he could also find answers to his questions in the present. There are stories from situations when he stopped taking in mid-conversation with his friends to listen to the voice inside him (“the daimon”). On one expedition he suddenly stopped and remained motionless for a whole day and a whole night – Then he thanked the morning and went on past his astonished companions.

According to Socrates the voice of God can be heard by everyone who owns an unspoiled mind and genuine piety. For him, every person is a carrier of the divine spark and life in general is blessed by God. “A good person will neither in his life nor in death experience evil,” he would say – knowing quite well that only our view gives rise to bad living conditions. His only prayer was: “Give me what’s good for my soul.”

Socrates did not write a single word during his life. Neither did he hold any official position. On the contrary, he spoke out against those that did not act from their own inner voice and picked them apart by constantly questioning the presumed knowledge of his opponent. This, his open display of worn faith in the Greek gods and the suspicion to stand under the influence of Pythagoras brought him the accusation of heresy.
Socrates could have saved his life if he would have been willing to recognize  the charges as legitimate or to leave Athens. He did not, however, as his daimon gave him no reason to escape and he would have regarded the act as political injustice against counsel of the Athenian citizens. Socrates held the truth more important than his own life. The trial and death of Socrates are described in Plato’s writings Apology, Crito and Phaedo.

Even beyond his death, many have of Socrates Quotes survived: The best known are probably “know thyself” and “Man is bad, if he does not know what is good”. But the best known of his quotes is “I know that I know nothing” (Greek: ouk oida eido). Many famous people emerged from his “school” that have gone down in history. These include, among others, Plato, Euclid, Antisthenes, Aristippus, Xenophon, Alcibiades and Critias.

His last word to the court was: “The difficulty in life is not how to avoid death, but how to avoid evil, because it runs faster than death. At the announcement of your judgment my inner voice did not tell me that evil will come upon me. It shows that those who regard death as an tragedy err. For the wise death is merely the continuation of life – in communion with the souls of those awakening to reality ”

He died calmly in his cell surrounded by his pupils that he taught until the very end to have positive faith – believing strongly that he would “come into a community of good and wise gods.”

From and K.O. Schmidt: “In you is the light”

Zarathustra the prophet


Zarathustra, or in the form of the Greek name, Zoroaster, was an old Iranian prophet and priest. His birthplace and its potential area of working are now limited to three areas. Firstly, the area around Bactria (Bactria), secondly, the area around Sistan and thirdly the region of Lake Urmia (media). There is no consensus between researchers about his lifetime. His birth is sometime between 1800-568 BC. Zarathustra created the new world of Zoroastrianism (also called Mazdaism or Zoroastrianism). Today there are about 120,000 members of this religion, mostly in India.

Zarathustra service consisted of rejection of any type of sacrifice. The devotional activities were held outdoors, where the priest was singing around a fire altar with his hands raised to praise.

According to the story, the Islamic scholar al-Biruni Zarathustra suddenly awoke after years of meditation on the top of Ushidarena to a cosmic consciousness and presents himself from then on as the reformer and prophet of the new light of faith.

He called his message the “pure theory”. Purity inside and outside remains until today the keyword of the Parismus. Zarathustra went back to the capital of Bactria, and convinced the king Vishtaspa of his message. This helped him to spread the faith in one God throughout the country. The belief of light of Zoroaster sends the good news of God and immortality of the soul. Right thought, speech and action will cleanse the soul, redeem from evil and lead to happiness. Only the victory of the Arabs uprooted the old Mazda faith of the Persians in favor of Islam.

“I praise the well-conceived, well-spoken and well-executed good thoughts, good words and good deeds. I strive for right thought, right speech and right action. I adore You, Spirit of Light, with all thy mind, word and deed and with a believing heart. I strive to ward off the evil to multiply the good work and give salvation! Spirit of life, let me live eternally in the shelter of thy righteousness and purity! Thy will is the law of my work!” (From the Avesta, wisdom teachings of Zarathustra)

Using materials from and K.O. Schmidt: “In you is the light”



According to the chronology of Brahmanan the Indian religious founder Bhagavan Sri Krishna was born in the year 3000 BC in northern India. The story goes that he was begotten by the Spirit of God and of the virgin Devaki, sister of King Kamsa. At 16, he was transfigured on a mountain top – after his return he went healing and teaching all over India. He preached the doctrine of love and good deeds, and often spoke in parables.

“When we die, our wealth remains at home. Our relatives and friends accompany us even to the grave. But our virtues and faults, our shortcomings and our good deeds follow us into the other life. That is why our costumes are focused on being good acting good.”

After conveying his message to the people Krishna, who had predicted his approaching death, went for seven days into solitude, where he was killed in a state of transcendence, by mercenaries of King Kamsa. He died with the words: “It is done.” Krishna’s life and teaching has been handed down in the Bhagavad Gita.

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